Former Deacon Daniel Stallings Sentenced for Child Sex Abuse

This story courtesy of nbc4.com.

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A former deacon at a Maryland church was sentenced Thursday to 20 years for sexually abusing two young girls over several years.

Daniel Stallings, 72, apologized to his victims before a Montgomery County judge handed down the sentence.

One of Stallings’ victims was a family member. She was 11 when the sexual abuse began. It continued for six years.

Another victim was a member of his church. She said she looked up to Stallings as a mentor and he told her God was smiling on them.

Prosecutor Donna Fenton said the case was about abuse of power and trust. She showed the judge a picture of a smiling 7-year-old girl and said Stallings killed the light that shined in her young eyes.

In court Thursday, the victims asked the judge to put Stallings in jail for a long time so he can’t victimize others.

Members of Stallings’ family testified that they fear he poses a danger to the community unless he is locked up because his house in Silver Spring is located near St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, a playground and an elementary school.

Defense attorney Thomas DeGonia said that even though Stallings will qualify for parole in five years, the sentence is harsh because of his client’s age.

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